How to Safely Dispose of 6 Materials That Can’t Go In Your Dumpster Rental

Safe Disposal of Materials in your Dumpster

Life is just not simple in modern America, is it? How much more complicated has it become to live your daily life since you were younger?

Unfortunately, renting a dumpster isn’t as simple as just tossing everything that you want. If you do that, you could easily end up with some nasty fines.

We’d love to let you put whatever you want in your dumpster. But regulations won’t allow it. And it’s a nice thing to do for the earth’s health too.

So take a minute to learn exactly what can and can’t go in your dumpster, and where it should go instead:


This one’s a bit of a mix. First, you have to determine whether you have oil-based or latex paint.

You must be 100% certain which kind you have. Because, if you throw away paint you shouldn’t, that leads to fines.

The first problem you’ll encounter is that it takes months for your paint to dry out. It has to be dry to dispose of. Simply add kitty litter, sawdust, or a commercial paint hardener (which you can find at hardware stores or online) to your paint to quickly accelerate the drying process.

After it hardens, then you can decide what to do. If you have oil paint, or if you’re not sure what kind of paint you have, then take it to a hazardous waste facility.

If you have latex paint, you can put that in your dumpster or your trash after it hardens.

Latex paint can also be used again if you want. Simply mix it with a newer latex paint of the same color. 


Tires can never go in your dumpster under any circumstances. Fortunately, they’re even easier to get rid of than paint. 

Check with your municipality and see if they have a bulky trash collection event. Many have at least one such collection day per year. 

Make sure you specifically ask if tires can be collected during this event (which they usually can). 

If you can’t get rid of them that way, or if you need to get rid of them sooner, then simply contact your local landfill. Again, make sure you ask and confirm they accept tires. 

They’ll likely charge a disposal fee also. But at least your tires will be gone. 

This map contains all the landfills in Texas, along with their contact information. 

If you have lots of tires to get rid of, you may need to hire a scrap tire transporting service with the capability to handle them all. 


There are three kinds of batteries:

  • Single-use
  • Rechargeable
  • Auto

Single-use batteries can be thrown away in your dumpster or garbage. But ideally, you recycle them.

By “single-use,” we mean pretty much every battery you’ll use in your daily life: AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt.

“Rechargeable batteries” doesn’t just refer to the rechargeable AA or AAA ones that might first come to your mind. This also includes all the batteries in your various devices, such as your laptop, smartphone, or cordless power tools.

These batteries contain mercury, cadmium, lead, and lithium, all of which harm the environment.

Recycle Nation can help you identify exactly where to take your rechargeable batteries.

Auto lead-acid batteries cannot be disposed of. Whenever you purchase a new one, the store is required to take your old one.

If for some reason you have some laying around, you can take them to a hazardous chemical disposal facility or any place that recycles metal. Always call first just to ensure they will take your battery.

But, even better, Auto Zone will give you a gift card to their store for your battery.

The lead inside your auto battery is worth a little money to them!

Household Chemicals or Empty Chemical Containers

How you dispose of these depends somewhat on your municipality. Yours might have an annual collection event that allows you to dispose of your household chemicals.

Follow this link for a list of all municipalities to find out whether yours holds an annual collection event. Contact information is included too.

When you ask about a collection event, make sure to drop the term “household hazardous waste” so the person you’re talking to knows what you’re talking about.

“HHW,” as it gets called, can include:

  • Corrosive cleaners like lye oven cleaner and drain cleaner
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • CFLs
  • Auto fuel
  • Mercury
  • Pesticides
  • Pool chlorine
  • Wood stain or varnish

If a collection event isn’t available, simply search “hazardous waste disposal” to find a facility near you that will accept your HHW.

Now if you have empty chemical containers, those need to be recycled. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recommends that you “triple rinse” each container before recycling.

Animal Waste

Think your dog poops a lot?

Dogs alone produce about 900,000 pounds of waste during the year just in North Central Texas alone!

Now, add to that all the other kinds of pets people own too, and think of all the waste they make.

Unfortunately, though it seems like you should be able to, you can’t toss any of it in your dumpster rental.

You can either flush your animal waste down the toilet (just make sure to dump it out of the bag first) or wrap it in a bag and put it in your trash. 

Propane Tanks

Propane powers a lot of good times with your family and friends.

But what if you find yourself with an old propane tank or two you need to get rid of?

Well, don’t just toss it in your dumpster rental! Like so many other incorrect disposals, it can result in fines (or harm to people or the environment if not disposed of properly). 

Instead, you’ll have to drop yours off at your local hazardous waste facility.

Not Sure How to Dispose of Something? Just Ask!

We talk about the most common things you can’t dispose of all over our website. But, that’s not necessarily a complete list.

If you have any doubt about what you’re going to dispose of, make sure you ask us. We’re happy to help you learn if you can dispose of the unwanted material, and if so, where it should go. 

If you do dispose of something you shouldn’t, fines can result. And you could cause serious injury to people and the environment.

So, please just ask for help. It’s simple, fast, and keeps you, others, and the environment, safe!

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